The Only Lean Path is an Unclear Path?
- 5 Star Reviews = 11
- 4 Star Reviews = 1
This book provides an introduction to lean methodology and how it might apply in a healthcare environment. It is presented in an easy to read format but doesn't really tell you how you might go about introducing lean in your own hospital.
Ok, fair enough that it's not a detailed how-to guide. I try to cover how to get started (Chapter 11) — so that probably covers how to “introduce” lean to an organization. It doesn't say this on the Amazon page (glowing publisher-produced descriptions), but on my own personally-produced page for the book, I state pretty clearly that the book is an introduction to concepts and examples — not a detailed how-to guide. But not everyone sees that warning, I guess.
The book is not intended as a detailed “how to” implementation guide. It is meant to be an overview that covers topics…
I'm sorry that reader was disappointed. I tweeted about it and somebody wrote back and said that too many people want a simplistic road map that they can follow — and those don't exist.
It sounds like a bit of an excuse, but I think it's true. That's why it's sometimes called the “Thinking Production System” — you have to think. You can't just copy others, as Bill Waddell blogged about yesterday.
Coincidentally, I was flipping through a new book at the LEI office yesterday, Mike Rother's Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results. Right in chapter 1, he talks about how there is no perfect plan for becoming truly lean.
He uses this diagram:
“If we think this is clear, then we are only in implementation mode,” says Rother. He draws a distinction between implementing tools and becoming truly lean as an organization.
“We will not be successful in the Toyota style until we adopt more of a do-it-yourself problem-solving mode.”
But I guess there are a lot of consultants who want to sell their services as a way to tell you how to do it… many clients and organizations want that, regardless of your industry, right?
How does your organization (or your consultant) balance learning from Toyota and thinking to develop your own plan versus just copying or following a rote roadmap.